Nov. 24 – In a year where almost everything has gone the way of the Vandals, it makes sense that they would end the year collecting the most honors since returning to the Big Sky Conference in 2018.
The conference announced its annual awards Wednesday and included 15 Idaho players highlighted by quarterback Gevani McCoy, who received the honor for freshman of the year.
McCoy was named one of the finalists for the Jerry Rice Award earlier this week, which goes to the best freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision. It came as no surprise that he received the award for Best Big Sky Newcomer.
His stats back it up, as McCoy threw the conference’s best 25 touchdown passes along with 2,376 passing yards.
Junior receiver Jermaine Jackson was honored as a first-team receiver and punt returner.
As a returner, he leads the Big Sky averaging 14.4 yards per touchdown return.
As far as receiving goes, Jackson was electric. He’s third in the conference with 939 yards he’s getting on just 60 receptions. He is first in yards per catch with 19.1.
Runner-up, receiver Hayden Hatten, was also honored with the first team.
He’s had a career year of receiving exactly 1,000 yards, making him the first UI receiver to accomplish that feat since Jeff Cotton in 2019. Hatten also broke Idaho’s one-season touchdown reception record when he scored his 15th goal against Idaho State on Saturday.
Six Vandals earned the second-team nod, with star linebackers Paul Moala and Fa’avae Fa’avae highlighting the group.
Fa’avae, a Washington State transfer, leads the team with 99 tackles and adds two forced fumbles and two sacks. Moala, the Notre-Dame transfer, is fourth on the team with 55 tackles and added four interceptions, one forced fumble and two sacks.
Marcus Harris and Juliano Falaniko also earned second-team honors in defense.
On offense, freshman running back Anthony Woods was called up to the second team.
For a guy who wasn’t considered a starter who came in, he certainly nailed the numbers. Woods has a team-high 814 rushing yards and two scores, averaging 5.7 yards-per-carry in two 100-yard games.
Kicker Ricardo Chavez has earned a second-team spot as he is second in the Big Sky in terms of field goal percentage after hitting 15 of 19 tries (78.9 percent) and nailing all 42 of his extra points .
Defensive defenders Tommy and Sean McCormick and senior offensive lineman Logan Floyd were the third-team picks.
Sean McCormick, Tommy’s brother, earned his spot as a special teamer. He was UI’s Player of the Week four times in that specialty and has amassed eight tackles.
Tommy McCormick has a team high of five turnovers and is third with 56 tackles.
Floyd has helped anchor a rushing attack that has rushed for more than 1,900 yards this season.
Three other Vandals — senior offensive lineman Beau St. John, freshman offensive lineman Ayden Knapik and senior defensive end Leo Tamba — were selected for honorable mentions.
QB – Miles Hastings, UC Davis. RB – Cameron Skattebo, Sacramento; Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., UC Davis. FB – Derryk Snell, Montana State. WR — Hayden Hatten, Idaho; Pierre Williams, State of Sacramento; Jermaine Jackson, Idaho. TE – Marshel Martin, Sacramento State. OL—Nick Amoah, UC Davis; Noah Atagi, Weber State; Tyson Pauling, Portland State; Jackson Slater, Sacramento State; Brandon Weldon, Sacramento; Hunter Mayginnes, Montana.
DT – Sebastian Valdez, Montana; Alex Gubner, Montana. EN – Brody Grebe, Montana State; Zach Kennedy, UC Davis. OLB – Marte Mapu, Sacramento; Patrick O’Connell, Montana. ILB – Armon Bailey, Sacramento; Callahan O’Reilly, Montana; Winston Reid, Weaver State. DB – Eddie Heckard, Weber State; Justin Ford, Montana; Robby Hauck, Montana; Maxwell Anderson, Weber State; Rex Connors, UC Davis.
K – Kyle Sentkowski, Sacramento State. P — Patrick Rohrbach, Montana. KR — Abraham Williams, Weber State. PR- Jackson. ST — Lan Larison, UC Davis. All Purpose – Asher O’Hara, Sacramento.
Attacking Player of the Year – Skatetebo.
Defensive Player of the Year – Mapu.
Newcomer of the Year – Sean Chambers, QB, Montana State.
Freshman of the Year – Gevani McCoy, QB, Idaho.
Coach of the Year – Troy Taylor, Sacramento State; Brent Vigen, Montana.
QB – Tommy Mellott, Montana State. RB – Elijah Dotson, Northern Colorado; Anthony Woods, Idaho. WR – Xavier Guillory, State of Idaho; Ty MacPherson, Weber State; Beau Kelly, Portland State. TE – McCallan Castles, UC Davis. OL – Nathan Mejia, Sacramento State; Rush Reimer, State of Montana; Connor Pettek, UC Davis; Jordan Lutui, Weber State; Troy Boots, State of Sacramento; Jordan Ford, UC Davis.
DT – Jett Stanley, Sacramento; Kalisi Moli, Weber State. EN – Cosmas Kwete, Northern Arizona; Juliano Falaniko, Idaho. OLB—Ty Okada, Montana State; Paul Moala, Idaho. ILB — Fa’avae Fa’avae, Idaho; Elijah Anderson-Taylor, Northern Colorado. DB – Caleb Nelson, Sacramento; Desmond Williams, Weber State; Morgan Vest, Northern Arizona; Devon King, UC Davis; Marcus Harris, Idaho.
K—Ricardo Chavez, Idaho. P—Nick Kokich, East Washington; KR—Malik Flowers, Montana. PR – Haze Hadley, Weber State; ST — Tyler Flink, Montana. General purpose chambers.
QB – McCoy; Jake Dunniway, Sacramento State. RB — Dontae McMillan, Weber State; Marcus Fulcher, Sacramento State. WR—Coleman Owen, Northern Arizona; Efton Chism III, East Washington; Willie Patterson, Montana State; Freddie Roberson, East Washington. TE—Josh Cuevas, Cal Poly. OL – Ethan Atagi, Weber State; Logan Floyd, Idaho; AJ Forbes, Montana; PJ Poutasi, Northern Arizona; JT Reed, Montana; Brady Odom, Northern Colorado.
DT — EJ Ane, Portland State; Chubba Ma’ae, UC Davis. EN — Killian Rosko, Sacramento State; Eloi Kwete, Northern Arizona. OLB—David Meyer, Cal Poly. ILB – Teddye Buchanan, UC Davis; Charles Ike, State of Idaho. DB—Tommy McCormick, Idaho; Marlon Jones Jr., East Washington; Xavier Bell, Portland State; Jehiel Budgett, UC Davis; Jordan Knapke, Northern Colorado.
K – Isaiah Gomez, UC Davis. P—Cal McGough, Sacramento State. KR – Marqui Johnson, Montana. PR – Marcus Fulcher, Sacramento State. ST—Sean McCormick, Idaho. All-Purpose—Junior Bergen, Montana.
QB – Gunner Talkington, Washington East; Dylan McCaffrey, Northern Colorado. RB – Damon Bankston, Weber State. WR—Chris Coleman, Cal-Poly; Mitch Roberts, Montana; Hendrix Johnson, Northern Arizona; Mataio Talalemotu, Portland State. TE—Cole Grossman, Montana; Justin Malone, Weber State; Anthony Rodriguez, Portland State. OL – Wyatt Hansen, East Washington; Justus Perkins, State of Montana; Beau St. John, Idaho; Ayden Knapik, Idaho.
EN – Joshua Jerome, East Washington; Elijah Ponder, Cal Poly; Leo Tamba, Idaho; VJ Malo, Portland State; Mitchell Johnson, East Washington. ILB—Levi Janacaro, Montana; Marcus Wellel, Montana; Nolan Askelson, Montana. DB – Kamden Garrett, Weber State.
K – Blake Glessner, Montana State. P – Devin Bale, Northern Colorado. KR—Larison; dotson PR—Dotson. ST – Kurt Gallup, Northern Colorado. General Purpose – Dotson; Draycen Hall, Northern Arizona; Emmanuel Daigbe, Portland State.
Pixley can be contacted at (208) 848-2290, [email protected] or on Twitter @TreebTalks.